George W. Bush famously said he would never criticize Barack Obama when he was President, and he kept his word.
But would he extend the same courtesy to Donald Trump?
Bush just did something that conservatives view as stabbing Trump in the back.
Former President Bush was a longtime champion of amnesty.
During his time in office, he tried to push a bill through Congress that would have given illegal aliens their citizenship and voting rights.
This led to the Republican base turning against party elites and their handpicked candidates in the 2016 GOP primary.
Trump won the election by presenting himself as a rejection of globalism and the Bush legacy of open borders.
Now Bush is reemerging in the political world to push amnesty, even though Trump opposes it.
“On immigration, Bush argued that the pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that he proposed as president will eventually become policy. “There needs to be a way for somebody to be able to get in line to become a citizen so long as they met certain criteria,” he said.
Bush also signaled some skepticism that Trump would follow through on some of his more controversial proposals, like building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and enacting policies that are often described as isolationist and protectionist.
Echoing comments his own successor, Barack Obama, has made about Trump, Bush noted that presidents often “think one thing going in, and then the pressures of the job or the realities of the world are different than you thought.”
Bush also echoed the sentiments of establishment Republicans like John McCain that the border wall would alienate Mexico.
Politico also reports:
“On Trump’s border wall proposal, Bush similarly said: “The border, the idea of building a wall, I mean, I built a wall. … But it’s not going to be a brick wall all the way across Texas. A lot of times in politics, the rhetoric is different from reality.”
That reality, he said, includes the importance of not alienating Mexico, with whose leaders Trump has publicly conflicted over the wall proposal.
“I think it’s very important for us to recognize the importance of Mexico and the relationship we have with Mexico,” Bush said. “We want Mexico to succeed. It’s in our national interest they succeed.”
The Bush family holds hard feelings towards Trump.
They entered the 2016 campaign fully believing it was Jeb Bush’s birthright as a member of the family to become President.
Trump mocked Jeb on the stump as “low energy” and ran against the Bush legacy of foreign intervention, open borders, and global trade deals.
After Trump won the nomination, neither Jeb, nor his father and brother – the last two GOP presidents – would endorse Trump against Hillary Clinton.
And it was even reported that former President George H.W. Bush cast aside party loyalty and voted for Hillary.
George W. Bush never once criticized the policies of Barack Obama, however, the Bush family may hold personal resentment toward Trump for ruining Jeb’s coronation,
And now he has rebuked Trump’s immigration positions.
Never attacking a Democrat but going out of his way to blast a conservative policy is why the GOP base came to see there was no difference between establishment Republicans – like George W. Bush – and Democrats.
And that is exactly how Trump ended up President.